Your preferred payment method
Thread poster: Oleksandra Radkova

Oleksandra Radkova  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:43
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 15, 2014

I have some questions regarding payment methods that proz translators use, since I only have experience with paypal so far.

Sorry if my questions will be common sense to you.

My questions are mainly for EU residents, since it´s where I live at the moment.

1) Which payment method do you prefer when receiving payment from a client in the EU:
paypal, bank transfer, other?

2) Which payment method do you prefer when receiving payment from a client outside EU?

3) Is it possible to receive payment on your debit card from a client´s mastercard (or any credit card)? What are the rates that the bank charges for transfer? Does it make a difference if a client is in EU or outside of it?


Thank you in advance.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:43
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I don't like PayPal Oct 15, 2014

For various reasons I stopped using PayPal (don't ask me why - we'd be here all day! - but I prefer to give as little money as possible to rich wheeler-dealers like these: http://tinyurl.com/q3hmp8l)

My preferred method (within the EU) is by bank transfer. I put my bank details at the bottom of each invoice, and the client then tells their bank to pay my bank. This is usually in Euro, which my UK bank then converts into GBP at the exchange rate applicable on that day.

A few days later my UK bank sends me a paper document for each payment, detailing the amount in Euro that was paid, the exchange rate applied, and the amount in GBP that has been credited to my account. I file each of these paper documents along with the invoices to which they refer.

All UK banks do it more or less the same way but because the UK is not in Euroland, you cannot avoid being penalised on every transaction, no matter which bank you use. I formerly banked with NatWest but dropped them after a while because they not only penalise you in the exchange rate; they also apply an additional fee on each individual transaction! So acting on the advice of various colleagues in these forums, I moved to FirstDirect (a branch of HSBC that is better managed than NatWest).

Of course if you live in Euroland, life is simpler and you don't lose money!

Using PayPal simply adds an extra layer of bureaucracy to this, plus an additional cost and more time you have to spend doing the admin. With or without PayPal, at some point the transaction is going to have to pass through your bank - so what's the point of *also* going through PayPal?

Payments from outside the EU (e.g. the U.S.) are more complicated; my most recent payment from the U.S. was a paper cheque sent by post! But I hardly ever work for non-EU clients so I don't really have a system. On that occasion I simply took the cheque to my bank, physically, and paid it in there; my bank applied its own exchange rate from USD to GBP.

As for receiving card payments, I don't know; but of course if you receive a payment into your current account, by whatever means, this is the same thing as being paid to your debit card.



[Edited at 2014-10-15 08:49 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:43
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Oleksandra Oct 15, 2014

Oleksandra Radkova wrote:
1) Which payment method do you prefer when receiving payment from a client in the EU:
paypal, bank transfer, other?


Whatever is easiest for the client, but I prefer bank transfer and PayPal.

2) Which payment method do you prefer when receiving payment from a client outside EU?


Whatever is easiest for the client, but I prefer bank transfer and PayPal.

3) Is it possible to receive payment on your debit card from a client´s mastercard (or any credit card)?


I have not heard of a case where that is possible, no. If the client wants to pay by credit card, the easiest way for him would be to pay via PayPal or Skrill. I don't know if my own bank has any restrictions on it, if it were possible for a client to do so.

What are the rates that the bank charges for transfer? Does it make a difference if a client is in EU or outside of it?


As far as I can tell, my bank does not charge me for incoming transfers from anywhere in the world, except if the payment was made by cheque. However, the sender's bank may charge him a fee, and there may be unknown intermediary banks between his bank and your bank that also charge unknown fees.

I guess one advantage of PayPal is that the amount the client pays is the amount that you get, whereas the amount that you receive by bank transfer is often less than the amount that the client had actually paid in. It would make matching up invoices with payments easier to use PayPal, now that I think of it.

Also, payments by PayPal are usually connected to the sender's profile in some identifiable way, whereas bank transfers don't always contain sufficient "comment" information to readily identify the sender. This is particularly true if the client decides to bundle invoices together into a single payment, and the payment date is long after the invoice date, and you're trying to match payments to clients.


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:43
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Depends Oct 15, 2014

1) and 2): depends on the amount and on the client - some agencies (so far, I found the practice with some American agencies) charge substantial amounts to pay in any way other than their preferred method. Also depends on your bank's terms and conditions - my regular bank charges large fees for international payments, but I found another one where the fee is reasonable. In my country, wire transfer is the best way for domestic payments and for international payments above a certain threshold (depends on the bank's conditions - see above), unless the client charges an unreasonable fee. But I even accepted an USD 20 fee for wire transfer and payment about 1x per year (to make the amount substantial) with an US agency - they used to send cheques (their usual and free of charge method), which was horrible - the cheque took 2 weeks to arrive (if it didn't get lost, which it sometimes did), then I had to go to the bank (20 kms in my case) where the clerks were unhappy, because this is something they seldom do and don't know how, and then it took another month for the money to arrive.
You can calculate the threshold based on the PayPal fee percentage for each country and the fee your bank charges for incoming wire transfer /processing a cheque from that country. Plus take into account the time when you will be paid, and your own time and work it requires (in the above example, accumulating a large enough amount vs. cheque processing, and the time spent to go to the bank/writing to the agency that the cheque got lost again...).
3) no idea, never thought of it, but ask your bank.


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Oleksandra Radkova  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:43
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 15, 2014

Thank you all for your replies. It was very helpful.

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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:43
English to Polish
+ ...
Wire transfer to bank account Oct 15, 2014

As per title. Bank fees on the client.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
PayPal Oct 17, 2014

PayPal is actually only an option when your client insists on using it. This might change in the future now that PayPal is also charging the sender a 1% fee aside from the recipient's fee. So now both are paying.

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